Monday, July 24, 2006

I am at a loss.......

Normally an opinionated person, I am seldom at a loss for an opinion. Here's the deal, I have had, in the past two years, two situations come up in our Church involving spouse abuse. I am appalled by abuse and thankfully have never had to endure it, although my husband's parents were abusive to each other.

I believed and believe to this day that God does not expect a woman to endure abuse from her spouse, and when these women left their husbands, I helped them. They both had complained that their husbands prevented them from being faithful to God, and once free of them, they would attend faithfully and raise their children in a godly way.

The odd thing is that this never happened. In Case Number One, the mother had to get a full-time job. She had to leave her four teen aged children home alone after school until 7:30 or 8 everynight. She comes to Church 2 or 3 times a month and looks terrible. There have been rumors that she was "seeing" a young man, 10 years her junior. I actually ran into them at a restaurant. She is farther than ever from God, and has given up on her precious children. They come to Church if they want to. The girls come but the boys attendance has become sporadic at best.

Case Number Two is more recent. The husband is indeed terrible, more verbally than physically abusive, although I know that its still terrible. The husband is now gone, having been evicted by the wife. Is she any better off? No. Her oldest girl is going through a time of dangerous rebellion.She has no energy or time to deal with her. The girl has been photographed by a "friend" in a suggestive way, and had the photos posted on a local forum. There is no dad, even a bad one to fight for his daughter's honor. The three kids have been sick. Every time I see her, she looks like she's about to burst into tears. Is she any better off? Not that I can see.
Her kids are doing a lousy job of raising themselves.

So then I read CTTHH again, and I've read blogs that blast the Pearls for their position on spouse abuse. And I am coming to an unpopular conclusion. Spouse abuse is bad, but separation hasn't seemed to be helpful. I will think twice before sanctioning separation, even if there is abuse. There must be a better way. Oh Lord! What do You want us to do? What can we tell these distraught daughters of Yours? Surely You have provided a way for them? Can God change an abusive husband? Is there hope aside from separation?


Mrs.B. said...

Wow Rhonda, this post took guts!

I have no answers because I am as perplexed as you. I have no experience with this personally or of knowing anyone.

I did read CTBHHM and was quite shocked at what they had to say. It went against everything I've always believed but they sited actual true-to-life examples of how wives stayed and endured and God miraculously changed their husbands. 'Sunny' from CTBHHM comes to mind. She stayed and her husband became saved and quit his abuse but wow...that would be hard to live, I'm not sure if I could do it if I were in that situation.

Tori said...

I think it took alot of tenacity to say what you did and admit any fault.

Life is not easy and it's even more difficult when we're trying to help others.

It sounds like you have such a pliable heart, I'm sure God is guidng you.

Thanks for the honesty. I leanred something from this post. :0)

Terri said...

Dear Rhonda, I wish that I had words of wisdom to share, to help guide you in these situations but I do not. I came from an abusive marriage myself which ended up in divorce. All of this happened before I came to know Christ. I feel that I would not have come to a saving knowledge of Him if I had stayed married - I don't really know, though. Divorce is horrible, raising your children by yourself is bad. But there have been children raised in a single parent home who turn out as devoted servants of God. Janet, of Janet's Journal, has an excellent post about this.

Terri said...

I meant to add that God can redeem any situation - an abusive marriage, a single-parent home - whatever situation. "All things are possible with God."

Bethanie said...

through reading CTBHHM and my own studying and searching this is my opinion for what its worth-first of course there is hope. Without hope you can't have faith and vice versa. Without faith we aren't pleasing God. Second, no where in the bible is there a reason for divorce. I believe my purpose, my place in life is with my husband. Thats where God wants me, by his side for good or bad. Regardless of how he treats me or acts, thats where I'm at. Fortunatly he is good to me and knows the love of God. If there is danger to the children then involve the law. The husband will hopefull get some help while he's in jail/prison. Above all pray. God can do anything, including save an abusive man from himself.

Anonymous said...

I like what Bethanie had to say. You don't find too many people who say there is no reason for divorce. Sure people can take Scripture and say that God does allow for it...but they take it out of context when they do. God takes the vows of marriage seriously. So when they say "for better or for worse....till death do we part" that is exactly what God means. When we get married we are entering a covenant with God as a couple and those vows or promises are not to be broken. I do believe that there are times that a couple should separate in situations of physical abuse...but they should never divorce. The victim of the abuse in the marriage is to pray for God to save or restore that husband and wait on God and him to get his heart right and put the home back together...even if that means staying apart for the rest of their lives...unless the other person in the marriage should die. At that point there is possiblity of another union according to God's will being established...but not until that abusive spouse dies. There will probably be alot of debate on this issue on your site...but you stand strong and teach it how God says it is. Love you Sis!!